SOUTH AFRICA: Treatment programme by numbers
ARVs are available in 3,000 public health facilities
JOHANNESBURG, 30 November 2012 (IRIN) - South Africa has recently made huge strides in HIV treatment, scaling-up the number of people on antiretroviral (ARV) drugs while also improving its national treatment guidelines.
IRIN/PlusNews offers a glimpse at what else the country has been working on:
2.7 - The percentage of babies born to HIV-positive mothers who contract the virus
. In 2008, eight percent of babies born to HIV-positive mothers contracted HIV. Four years later, the country has announced that the rate of mother-to-child HIV infections had fallen
to under three percent. The country has also moved to adopt the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Option B
, under which all HIV-positive expectant mothers will get triple ARV therapy while pregnant and breastfeeding, regardless of their CD4 count (a measure of immune health).
3,000 - The number of public health facilities where treatment is available
. In February 2010, 490 additional facilities were accredited to dispense ARVs. Less than two years later, this figure now stands at 3,000, although steady supply of ARVs remain a problem
, with stock-outs being reported in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape provinces.
10,000 - The number of nurses certified to initiate ARV treatment.
To deal with its scarcity of doctors and expand access to HIV treatment, the country moved to introduce
a cadre of ARV-initiating nurses in 2010. In its first year, the country trained 250 nurses on starting and managing ARV patients; the number has since ballooned.
1.7 million - The number of HIV patients on treatment this year
, according to the South African government. South Africa introduced earlier treatment in 2011, allowing HIV-positive people to access treatment at the higher CD4 count of 350. This move brought the country in line with the latest WHO recommendations. A year later
, the country also introduced its first three-in-one combination ARV for the low cost of about US$10 per patient per year.
20 million - The number of people who have been tested for HIV
. In April 2010, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and President Jacob Zuma launched a national voluntary HIV counselling and testing
campaign, with a goal of testing 15 million people over 12 months. The Department of Health now estimates that 20 million South Africans have since been tested. Of these, two-thirds were women and about five percent were children.
$672 million - The price of the country’s 2012 antiretroviral tender
. After years of paying some of the world’s highest prices for antiretrovirals (ARVs), the Department of Health, with the help of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, did a price comparison of ARVs globally and increased competition, leading to the negotiation of a better tender in 2010. This cut the price of treatment for the country by about 50 percent, saving the country about $523 million. In the 2012 tender, the country saved about $251 million.